Ah, the Nerves, the Nerves!

cheerful ethnic woman against vivid red painted wall

If you’re feeling nervous about singing, this blog is for you!
I’m sharing my top tips on how you can handle getting nervous – and have a good singing experience.

After a looong period of not singing with or for anyone (except for my lovely family) due to the circumstances in our world, I’ve felt somewhat nervous about being “out there” again, singing for and with other people.

To be honest, it can be tiring to feel nervous! Especially when it feels overwhelming and I have to calm down my whole nervous system again and again.
Yet, a new view on the whole thing is beginning to see the light of day.
That being nervous is part of being human. It’s the bridge to the next level in our human development; a basic condition for expanding your comfort zone.

And sometimes it’s interesting to go into that space of total courageous vulnerability. There’s no certainty there. Only acceptance and staying in the now.

The way I see it, handling your nerves has to do with being with them. Accepting them.
There are though a few things that you can do to make sure you have a good experience:

  1. Expand your comfort zone gently.
    We all have different backgrounds and different degrees of sensitivity. If you’re not singing as a professional, I highly recommend that you take baby steps and stretch yourself just a little bit at a time.
    If you find it scary to sing for others, start by taking voice lessons.
    If it feels like it’s too much for you to stand on a stage and perform, start by singing for or with your friends. Get comfortable using your voice more in a safe environment.
  2. Accept the situation
    Once you’re expanding your comfort zone, acceptance is the key. You’ll want to give yourself a good experience. Your singing may be less than ideal when you’re nervous – which can be frustrating when you were doing so well singing on your own.
    Expect that you won’t be doing 100% of what you’re able to – it’s completely normal.
    Instead, pat yourself on the back. You’re growing. It takes an effort, and you’re super cool to give it a go!
    See if you can be with it all.
  3. Breathe.
    Before you sing, take a few deep breaths. It helps calm down your body and the idea that something scary is about to happen. Especially the exhale is relaxing – which is very convenient as your singing happens with the outgoing air.
  4. Inhale lavender oil.
    If you respond well to essential oils, inhaling a bit of lavender oil or making a mix (1 drop of pure essential oil to 1 tsp of carrier oil) that you can put on your throat area, can be a great soother.
  5. Enjoy being alive.
    We sing live to have a living experience. Something special happens in the present moment. It’s nice to make the effort, and meaningful to share music with others.

Happy Singing!

© Nína O’Farrell 2021
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

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